How To Make A Quick Custom Coupler Fit

Story And Photos By Dan Armitage
Published: Fall 2013

Too much "play" between your trailer coupler and the ball hitch can result in more than a headache from clunking sounds.

If the fit of your trailer coupler and the ball on your tow vehicle is too loose, the coupler could work loose from or "jump" the ball, leaving only the safety chains to keep the tow vehicle and trailer connected. On the other hand, if the fit is too snug, the trailer may struggle when turning. That can result in equipment failure, not to mention sounds that can be felt clear down to the fillings in your teeth. Avoiding both extremes is simple, and requires only a wrench and a few minutes for a custom fit.

Photo of a hitch ball and a wrench

1. All you need to custom fit your boat trailer's coupler is the proper size hitch ball and a wrench.

Photo of the tension adjustment nut on the spring-loaded bolt on the underside of the coupler

2. Locate the tension adjustment nut on the spring-loaded bolt on the underside of the coupler.

Photo of wrench fitting over nut

3. Identify the correct size wrench (open-ended, crescent, or socket) to fit the nut.

Photo of opening the coupler lever and place the hitch ball in the coupler

4. Open the coupler lever and
place the hitch ball in the coupler.

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